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Archive for June, 2011

delicious red cake.
A few months back I bought a whoopie pie pan from Wegman’s. This weekend I decided to try it out. I had some buttermilk left from blueberry muffins I made last weekend (they were ok – need to tweak the recipe a bit). So I decided to make red velvet whoopie pies in an effort to not throw away quite so much buttermilk (why does buttermilk only come in quart size? I only need a cup or two!)

I have a Paula Deen red velvet cupcake recipe that I have made several times, and it always comes out delicious – very moist and flavorful. For the filling I cheated and simply used store-bought vanilla frosting.

And here they are….

red velvet whoopie pies

They look kind of brown in this photo, but I can assure you they are quite red.

Yum!

inspiring red flowers.
Somewhat recently I read the January/February 2011 issue of Somerset Studio, and was particularly taken with an article by E’Layne Koenigsberg, From Intuition to Fruition (as a whole I have been feeling so inspired lately by all of the various Stampington magazines I’ve been reading).

poppies

She writes about how, rather than her usual approach to creating art as one of having a finished product in mind, she approached her project intuitively, opening herself to ideas and inspiration and seeing what happened. I too approach my art thinking that I must have a perfect finished item when I am done. Partly this is due to limited time, and partly to my uptight perfectionist tendencies.

I would love to work in a more intuitive manner, instead of worrying about whether my project will turn out or not. As Marc Chagall said, “If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothing.” There’s a certain trusting of one’s artistic talent and creativity that must come into play in order to work intuitively. I’d really like to tap into that!

housecleaning.
The past week I’ve been making some changes & updates to my blog. New banner, I added a background (ok, it’s just plain lavender. My digital art skills are not adequate for anything fancy, and while I love the beautiful fancy backgrounds on other blogs, sometimes I feel they are distracting. So for now, it’s plain lavender.) I’ve added some more artists to my blogroll, and some shops to my shoproll.

But with the end of June is the end of the quarter, and that means it’s time for me to come up with my goals for the 3rd quarter. (I work in the financial industry, so dividing the year into quarters is second nature). And one of those goals is absolutely going to be learning how to solder. Wish me luck!

Thanks for stopping by!

xoDawne

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handcrafted.
Look what I got…

by hand

My article is on page 14. It’s funny though – I don’t want to read it. I’m afraid I’ll find a mistake I made! It’s weird for something I wrote to be in a magazine. Weird, but very nice!

hot pink leather.
About a month ago I bought a cover for my Kindle. I had drifted off from reading (again) – I read at night before bed and the booklight I had was terrible. But everything is fine now that I have my hot pink leather Kindle cover wih built-in light!

kindle cover

It was a bit pricey but well worth it. And really not that much more than buying a cover and light separately.

So I’ve been very happily reading Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. It’s so good! I’m getting near the end and I can’t wait to see how everything turns out. I just adore Elinor – her composure, her sense of propriety, her kindness and thoughtfulness, her self-control – I want to be like her!

I love the subtlety of Miss Austen’s writing, and her pointed sense of humor. I bought the digital edition of her complete works and it only cost $2. I’m very happy to have all of Miss Austen’s writings for such a small amount, but at the same time I feel slightly guilty – her whole life’s work, for only $2? Hopefully my enjoyment of and appreciation for her wonderful writings makes up for the small amount I paid for them.

Thanks for stopping by!

xoDawne

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something new, something blue.

I finished my new banner. How do you like it? I am generally pleased with it – I really like the photos I chose for the background. I’m not entirely pleased with the text – I wanted to make it stand out a little more, but I didn’t want to cover up the photos too much. It will do for now.

I never realized how much I use blue in my artwork until I was gathering photos for my new banner. It’s interesting because I don’t go much for blue during the rest of my life. Not that I don’t like blue – I think it’s a beautiful color. But if you looked around my house, you would find the color blue to be lacking. Guess I make up for it in my artwork!

Thanks for stopping by!

xoDawne

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fragments in the wind
Guess what? I finally finished my Polyshrink Fragments jewelry and mailed them off to Belle Armoire Jewelry! yay! It only took, you know, forever to get these done. I’m so glad though. I feel a new sense of freedom now!

Here are the pieces I mailed:

fragments bracelet

fragments bracelet

fragments bracelet

fragments bracelet

garden fairy necklace

amulet necklace

I haven’t seen anything like these in Belle Armoire Jewelry before, so I hope that the editors see these pieces as something new and interesting, and want to have them in the magazine.

In other exciting I-can’t-believe-I-finally-have-this-project-done-that-I-have-been-working-on-for-years news, I also finished a scarf that I started almost four years ago. In my defense it was my car project, meaning that I mostly worked on it in the car when we were driving somewhere. That’s why it took so long to finish. Plus it’s quite long – at least five feet. I wanted it to be long and narrow. I knitted it with Bernat boa yarn in black, and I used size 3 needles. It’s dense and luxurious, and I can’t wait to wear it when the weather gets cold!

Now I’m turning my attention to my blog, and making some changes. I’m working on a new banner, and a background, and some other things that I’ve been wanting to do for a while.

Thanks for stopping by!

xoDawne

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happy birthday lily!

My sweet little girl is 5 today.

my angel

she’s a rose
in a lily’s cloak
she can hide her charms
she runs like the fire does
just picking up daisies
comes in for a landing
a pure flash of lightening
past alice-blue blossoms
who follow her laughter
and then she’ll surprise you
arms filled with lavender
it is her time
yes my angel
it is your time
so you just run
with ribbons undone.

from Ribbons Undone, by Tori Amos

xoDawne

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let’s change directions.
I decided a little while ago to change directions in my digital art attempts. I thought, hey, maybe I should actually take the time to learn Photoshop before I start diving into tutorials. Perhaps then I might have some inkling of what I am doing!

So to that end I’ve been reading through the Help section and learning quite a bit. I haven’t gotten into the fun stuff yet (like the filters and tools) but I’m getting there.

I bought some kits from Scrapbookgraphics a little while ago too – how could I resist? I have to be ready when the day comes that I can finally play and create digital art.

And I just love Scrapbookgraphics. They have the coolest stuff!

I bought Fairy Tea Party, by Ellie Lash (this one is for playing with Lily – I’ll start teaching her Photoshop now, so she’ll be an expert by the time she’s eight!). Fragments and Inner Artiste, by Lorilei Murphy (Rosey Posey Studio), and Industrial Velvet by Tangie Baxter.

Perhaps someday I will be able to create my own digital kits.

beadfest here I come!
One of my goals, starting this year, is to take one class every year. And I’m excited to say that I have registered for a class at the upcoming Beadfest Bead and Jewelry Show in August. I will be attending Kim St. Jean’s class, Bezel Bootcamp. I get to learn how to solder with a torch and create my own bezel!

There are so many intriguing classes being offered; there were several I was interested in, and one in particular, creating a cuff from etched pieces of metal. It was so gorgeous! But I thought Bezel Bootcamp was a more appropiate fit with my other jewelry goals for the year (that being to learn how to solder, albeit with an iron). I’m eagerly looking forward to the class, and I hope I learn a lot.

coincidence?
In my last post I mentioned how I’ve recently had this strange urge/desire to draw, although I’ve never thought of myself as being talented in that area.

Well…I got the new (May/June) issue of Somerset Studio

somerset studio

…and inside was this article by Colette Copeland….

and you can too!

….in which she writes about how she never thought she could draw until, as she writes, “then one day, just like that, I woke up from this self-imposed and mystifying “I can’t draw” belief. I grabbed a pencil and started to draw. I became so hooked that I would have drawn on the walls if I didn’t have the self-control to curb the urge. The more I did it, the better I became at it. So, for those who think they can’t draw but who want to, I encourage you to try it! It’s the only way you’ll know if you can or can’t, and if you want to or don’t want to.”

I am taking this article as a sign that I may not be way off with this drawing thing. Maybe I can do it, maybe I can’t. As Ms. Copeland said, the only way to find out is to try.

And I just adore her artwork in this article – her birds are so charming!

xoDawne

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